Friday, February 02, 2007

Mistakes in Iraq

What went wrong for the Americans in Iraq?

Well lots of things, says John Thompson of the Mackenzie Institute, in his group's latest newsletter.

But the biggest mistake the U.S. made he says was the blanket "de-ba'athfication" of the country's military and civil service, which essentially gutted Iraq's police, military and civil service.

"In retrospect," writes Thompson, "trying to rebuild all of Iraq’s institutions by completely purging them while the country was under the lash of terrorism appears to have been a serious error. "

And Thompson highlights another problem, one which will shock left-wing, anti-American types: Americans, despite all the hype to the contrary, are just not imperialists at heart.

Unlike the British or the French, Americans are just not very good at imposing their institutions and values on other countries.

"The United States does not know how to do this and, with the possible exception of the Philippines, has never managed to build a successful administration from scratch in another country," says Thompson.

Is there hope?

Maybe says Thompson but, the way things look now he also says we better "get used to seeing war footage on your television news; we’ll be seeing ever so much more of it in the coming years."

1 comment:

Miles Lunn said...

I wouldn't say the average American is an imperialist, but I do think many in the government are.

I do though agree the complete de-baathification was a dumb move amongst many others. However, I also think that the cultural differences between Iraq and the United States are so vast that trying to implement an American style system just won't work. Iraq can be democratic, but on their own terms